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By CASEY OLSON
University of Montana and 2001 Federal Way High School grad Virgil Matthews and the rest of his Grizzly basketball team will take on the hometown University of Washington tomorrow at noon in the opening round of the NCAA Mens Basketball Tournament in Boise. The game will be broadcast on CBS.
Montana earned an automatic berth into the Big Dance by winning the Big Sky Conference Tournament last week. The Grizzlies (18-12) are the 16th seed in the Albuquerque region, while the Huskies earned the schools first-ever No. 1-seed.
Matthews will have plenty of knowledge of the players on the University of Washington roster. The 6-foot-3 senior guard grew up playing against several UW players and had some memorable matchups against All-Pac 10 guard Tre Simmons during their junior college days. Matthews played at Centralia and Simmons, who happens to be former Federal Way HS star Donny Marshalls cousin, played one season at Green River.
Its exciting to play against a school youve always been around, said Matthews in The Missoulian. Them being a No. 1, that makes it that much better.
No 16th-seeded team has ever beaten a No. 1 seed since the field was expanded to 64 teams 20 years ago.
Federal Way native Apolo Ohno won two finals Sunday at the 2005 World Short Track Championships in Beijing, China.
Ohno triumphed in the finals of the 1000 and 3000 meters. The 22-year-old also was part of the United States 5000 relay team that finished third in a race where Canada set a world record of 6 minutes, 39.990 seconds.
In the 1000, after a disappointing first two days, Ohno took the world title in a time of 1:30.066. Leading with one lap to go, Ohno slipped and momentarily lost his balance and was overtaken by Koreas Ahn Hyun Soo. On the following straightaway Ohno regained his speed and was able to overtake the Korean for the win.
Ohno finished second in the overall standings to Soo, who earned 89 points at the three-day event. Ohno was second with 68. Ohno won his seventh U.S. overall title last month in Milwaukee.